The Instigator
redbrave70
Pro (for)
Losing
38 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Decrinminalizing (Not Legalize) All Drugs (controlled substances)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,833 times Debate No: 11073
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (14)

 

redbrave70

Pro

After sitting through a Criminal Law class my professor had given us a little bit of insight on the U.S. Corrections System (He had worked as a parole officer and written several books on the U.S. Corrections system) about how much a inmate costs a year to house in a state prison for whatever his conviction may have been. The following argument is based on the information he had given us.

At this point in time the national average cost to house a inmate in a state prison is roughly $35,000 per year. 3/4 of the population of these prisons are of inmates convicted of a drug charge or a lesser non violent crime, for example car theft. Obviously we are in the red as far as economy goes and we face a large deficit throughout many states. My idea to help this would be to do as follows:

Now as stated before the price to keep one single prisoner behind bars for one year is roughly $35,000. Now calculate 2.1 million times roughly $35,000 and you get a number that could be used for something other than the luxuries of a criminal. Drugs whether being marijuana, crack cocaine, heroine, meth, etc should be not Legalized but Decriminalized. Yes I understand that every and all people in jail now for drug related crimes would be released into our streets. But by doing this you accomplish this.

Drugs are easly obtainable and cheaply made or grown etc. Just like alcohol during the prohibition the price for drugs is expensive. If decriminalized it lowers the price of drugs so that the heroine and crack cocaine users no longer have to steal your car, rob your house, mug your neighbor etc. to get a fix. It will also get rid of racketeering and break down profits ten fold with the mob and other gangs due to the fact that most of there income is through drugs. And without the increased prices of drugs due to being illegal they will be nothing more than business men and women with a product that lost nearly all its street value. Besides the fact, if it took a bottle of smirnoff vodka to get me through my day everyday i will die...very quickly...if it take heroine to get someone through there day every day they will die far more faster. Good, they were no good to the community and is now a form of population control, only the strong survive.

So far, with decriminalization drugs, you now have cheaper drugs, less crime, less violent and operational drug cartels and gangs. Along with those outcomes crime will drop if anything and there will be no increase in drug use, if there is once again pop control...we simply dont need them to put it bluntly...

Finally with decriminalizing drugs you would save an astronomical amount of money that could be used for countless other things and govt programs. With the money saved why not buy the repeat car theif a $5000 car, hell your saving $30,000. Why not buy the heroine addict $2,000 worth of heroine and a $2,000 coffin...much cheaper than paying $35,000 a year for someone in prison for 10 years for a drug related crime. With all this i believe that the strong will survive and the weak perish. The country will save millions if not billions of dollars due to this and the crime rate will lower if anything at all. Please be nice and let me know what you think :)

(Keep in mind that am I in no way a professional debater or lawyer but someone that would wish to discuss this topic with someone that will be able to give much logic on a opposite opinion of my own.)
Danielle

Con

Before we begin I'd like to thank my opponent, redbrave70, for his interesting debate instigation. I will be using two different arguments to counter Pro. First, I'd like to point out that many drugs with good reason should be completely legalized. This is different from my opponent's proposition of mere decriminalization. Second, I'd like to point out that perhaps not ALL drugs should become decriminalized. Throughout this debate I hope to use one or both of those positions to help establish a case for the negative. So without further adieu, I'd like to define some key terms which will be tantamount to our arguments.

* Decriminalization - The removal of criminal sanctions on a prohibited activity [1]
* Legalization - The process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently illegal [2]

Pro's arguments are as follows:

Decriminalizing drugs will...

1. save citizens a lot of money which can be better spent elsewhere
2. drive drug prices down, meaning gangs and mobs make less money = less crime
3. encourage Social Darwinism (kill off the druggies)

That said, I'd like to point out that the LEGALIZATION of drugs will accomplish all of those goals and more. So, at this point Pro has given us absolutely no incentive to favor decriminalization over legalization. At this point in time I'd like to explain why the legalization of certain drugs - say marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms - is preferable over decriminalization. Indeed many times these terms are used interchangeably; however, do not mean the same thing. "Decriminalization" usually means the absence of criminal — but not civil — penalties for possession of a small amount of marijuana for "personal use." Also, "decriminalization" means leaving production and sales in the black market, which is a disastrous social policy. That is a point that we have to make at every opportunity. "Legalization" usually means some form of "regulated" sales. In fact, "legalization" generally implies something like the alcohol and
tobacco models [3].

To decriminalize something only means that one might not be charged with a crime if they are caught doing it; however, they still may be subject to fines or other penalties. I believe that with a drug like marijuana, it should be completely legal barring some form of standard regulation (such as an 18+ rule). That means marijuana should be completely l free of any civil or criminal penalties for the using or buying and selling of the product. Again, it establishes all of Pro's goals and extends citizen's rights to make their own decisions about personal use and responsibility. So, now I leave it up to my opponent to begin discussion on why decriminalization is preferable to legalization of certain drugs.

The other part of my argument is that perhaps not ALL drugs should be decriminalized. While nicotine is widely regarded as the most addictive drug, substances like crystal meth, heroin and crack cocaine are among the most deadly. Not only do they have a high addiction rate with a physical dependency that becomes agonizing to ween off of, but they pose a threat to both users and society at large given their effects on individuals. While users seek a euphoric effect (as most of these drugs originated as pain killers), they often become extremely paranoid and delusional. This makes them a threat to everyone around them.

Additionally, these drugs take a physical toll on people and cause them to have all sorts of bodily damage ranging from frequent convulsions and hypothermia to brain damage and cancer [4]. Meanwhile, drugs like marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms do minimal physical damage to the body and in some cases even have medical uses [5] [6]. Now ideally, I'd point out that the government has no business controlling what people put into their bodies. However, considering that the programs Medicare and Medicaid exist, and the reality that everyone is treated in the Emergency Room to at least stabilize life, the reality is that the government (citizens) pay for people in poor health. For that reason and many others, the government should have a say in limiting or criminalizing certain drugs with little to no medical purpose and whose harms cause severe damage to both the individual in terms of physical and mental health, and society as a whole.

I should point out that I would love for the government to be more honest and realistic in their assessment of various drugs (for instance, substances like MDMA and *especially* marijuana most DEFINITELY have legitimate medical uses though the DEA denies it). Again, I believe that certain drugs should be criminalized - such as crack, meth and heroin - and that certain should be completely legal - like marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms. I'll see how my opponent responds to this rebuttal before making any further clarifications or argument distinctions. Thanks again to the Pro for beginning this debate and good luck!

[1] http://www.google.com...
[2] http://www.google.com...
[3] http://marijuananews.com...
[4] http://www.drugrehabtreatment.com...
[5] http://www.letfreedomgrow.com...
[6] http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com...
Debate Round No. 1
redbrave70

Pro

First of all, thank you theLwerd for taking the con side of this argument. Looking at your profile and record, win or lose i'm very happy to debate with someone that seems to know a little bit about presenting a good argument.... So here i go haha

decriminalize: to eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against

As I said before "decriminalize" drugs so that not only save money from the war on drugs but also to release prisoners in over populated prisons that cost roughly $35,000 a year when you could simply buy them all heroine, coke, etc that they want and there is no need to mug you or I in order to get there fix. To buy a crack addict $2,000 of now decriminalized and far cheaper crack you are not only saving countless tax dollars over years of time just for that one person. Now I think we can all agree that over a limited time if you or I were to take drugs like heroine, crack cocaine, meth, or anything for that matter we will die rather quickly. As you put it perfectly Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest, the strong live while the weak perish, the tax paying law abiding citizen lives while the blight of society, the addict dies slowly and cheaply. Cruel? You or I didnt help him put the needle into his veins, he has done it to himself and has saved us all far more money.

Now I cant really argue medical marijuana due to the fact that I intended this debate to be about decriminalizing drugs so that the petty drug dealers and abusers do not cost our country the billions of dollars to keep them locked up, in some cases far longer than murders, sexual predators, and the worst of the worst that receive parole far faster due to the flawed punishment system. My argument is to simply save our country money by keeping the real criminals behind bars and the addicts either in a pine box, or somewhere other than a prison where he or she will costs us tens of thousands of dollars per year.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro, for the response.

In the last round, Pro repeated several of his R1 arguments:

Decriminalizing drugs would...

1. Release prisoners on minor drug charges, saving citizens a whole bunch of money
2. Reduce the cost of drugs, making citizens safer
3. Encourage Social Darwinism (let the druggies die off)

He has also said, "Now I cant really argue medical marijuana due to the fact that I intended this debate to be about decriminalizing drugs so that the petty drug dealers and abusers do not cost our country the billions of dollars to keep them locked up." I understand that he didn't take medical marijuana into consideration when starting this debate, but still it's an argument in my favor. Nevertheless, you'll notice that Pro has simply repeated the same goals. As I've proven in the last round, legalizing drugs accomplishes those same exact goals as decriminalization. Therefore, Pro has given us no incentive to decriminalize drugs.

On the other hand, I offered a handful of reasons to completely legalize drugs. So, I've given people an incentive to legalize drugs over just decriminalizing them (because legalizing them accomplishes all of Pro's goals and more). Therefore you have no reason to vote affirmatively. Moreover, Pro did not even begin to touch upon my argument that certain drugs like heroin, crack and meth need not be decriminalized. I offered an argument in R1 explaining why these types of drugs can and should be illegal, ie. the cost of health care for those who get sick from these drugs and their effects on society (causing people to become delusional, violent, etc.). Again, Pro did not combat any of these points. I'll send this debate back over to him for the final round during which time he can hopefully refute my R1 contentions. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 2
redbrave70

Pro

Topic: Decriminalizing (Not Legalize) All Drugs (controlled substances)

Websters Dictionary Definitions:

Pro
adverb
1. in favor of a proposition, opinion, etc.
noun
2. a proponent of an issue; a person who upholds the affirmative in a debate.
3. an argument, consideration, vote, etc., for something.

Con
adverb
1. against a proposition, opinion, etc.: arguments pro and con.
noun
2. the argument, position, arguer, or voter against something.

The topic at hand was to be the discussion of whether or not to Decriminalize All Drgus, not to Legalize. To legalize drugs would be, by definition, to make legal; authorize. Decriminalize, by definition is, to eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against. The basis of my entire argument was that by doing so we would save money, get rid of crime, etc. My opponent on the other hand failed to submit a con based argument (definition above for what con means by definition, not what my opponent may have thought it meant for this debate) that actually relates to the subject of this debate and of the argument that I made. In fact my opponent debated the legalization of all drugs rather than why all drugs SHOULD NOT be decriminalized, that would be the role of the con arguer, my opponent failed to do this. My opponent if anything gave a pro argument that could have be taken into consideration by me to use to simply make the argument to decriminalize marijuana for the medical purpose along with the several other reasons I have listed. I do not feel the need to even repeat my argument once again due to the fact that I have actually argued this debate correctly and have given a true pro while you have given a slightly off topic pro argument instead of a con argument that disagrees why all drugs should be illegal or possibly another way to save money or alternate punishment for drug dealers.

But once again I hope that my opponent can actually submit an actual con argument and until then hope that the readers see that my points are not only a strong argument that supports the pro, but is a pro argument. If my opponent can not come up with a concrete con argument in the final round I hope the readers see my points and vote affirmative.
Danielle

Con

Unfortunately Pro has failed to understand my position and his responsibility in this debate. He writes, "The topic at hand was to be the discussion of whether or not to Decriminalize All Drugs, not to Legalize." He's correct. His burden was to prove that drugs should be decriminalized. My burden was to argue against decriminalization and in favor of something else. I chose to argue against decriminalization and in favor of legalization... which, as Pro and I have both pointed out, are 2 different things.

Pro mistakenly says, "My opponent on the other hand failed to submit a con based argument... that actually relates to the subject of this debate and of the argument that I made." That is completely false. As I've already explained, Pro's burden in this debate was to prove that drugs should be decriminalized. I had to argue against that, and I did. I do not favor decriminalization over drugs but rather the legalization of drugs. Once again, Pro agrees and even explains that the two are different things. I have fulfilled my burden and Pro failed to address any of my claims (only went on a tangent about how I failed to perform when in fact he is the one who is confused).

As I have explained in the previous rounds, I favor legalization over decriminalization (hence me negating the resolution and arguing against it as Con). I pointed out how the benefits of decriminalization all apply to legalization, and also added additional benefits of legalization over decriminalization. Furthermore, I gave an entire other argument which my opponent has not one addressed. I mention in all previous rounds (to remind my opponent who seemed to have missed it and/or just blatantly ignored it) that there are lots of reasons why perhaps not all drugs should be legalized OR decriminalized. In both situations, I argued against decriminalization. Therefore I have completely fulfilled my burden and Pro has not once addressed my contentions. Thanks again for this debate, and I hope upon reading this round's clarification you understand where I was coming from, Pro. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
RFD:

B/A: Pro

S/G: Tie, I didn't notive any major spelling artifices on either side.

C: Tie, both were polite to each other.

A: Con. Both had great arguments, but I feel that Con pushed a little bit heavier on the main issue at hand, the actual discriminization of the drugs.

S: Con. I don't believe I saw any sources on pro's side.

Overall: I thoguht it was a great debate, short and simple to read, and mildly educational.
Both debaters presented good opinions and supportive ideas to their side of the argument.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
RFD:

B/A: I agree with Pro, but that's irrelevant to the debate.

S/G: Con. Pro's spelling was okay but he made countless grammatical errors.

Conduct: Con, since Pro called someone a **** head even after he himself vote bombed.

Arguments: Con, for obvious reasons.

Sources: Con, for obvious reasons.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
At least he justified his vote, which is more than I can say for Pro.
Posted by redbrave70 7 years ago
redbrave70
Dylan, you are the definition of a sh!t head
Posted by DylanFromSC 7 years ago
DylanFromSC
Just because two people both voted straight 7's in a row, including the Pro, I'll vote 7.
Posted by redbrave70 7 years ago
redbrave70
So by wanting to "spice it up and throw you a loop" you didn't really want to debate the issue by taking the con side of the argument but instead to just give your a opinion of something that, by legal definition, is the same thing. And how by the way did you vote for yourself saying you made the more convincing argument and agreed with yourself after the debate when all you did was branch off of my initial argument? Just wondering...
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
redbrave, I understand what you wanted to debate lol I just wanted to spice it up and throw you a loop to see how good of a debater you are. I think we both ultimately want the same thing (either legalized or decriminalized drugs). However since you mentioned one of them I figured I'd mention the other since they are in fact not the same thing. In fact a legalization vs. decriminalization argument is prevalent in today's society. Some people feel one is better than the other, so that's what the debate turned into even though you originally intended something different. There are a lot of things you could have said explaining why decriminalization is better than legalization, but instead you chose not to really provide that type of argument at all.
Posted by redbrave70 7 years ago
redbrave70
At least NotArrogantJustRight understood where I was coming from lol the debate was supposed to be along the lines of decriminalize vs not decriminalize. Not prov (decriminalized) vs. pro (legalize)
Posted by NotArrogantJustRight 7 years ago
NotArrogantJustRight
My apologies to theLwerd for confusing gender; the picture of a man thoroughly pulled the wool over my eyes.

My point is that both Pro and Con were arguing for the legalization of drugs. I also apologize for not considering Google a valid reference for the definition of a legal term. As it stands, however, the courts consider decriminalization a synonym for legalization. So again, you are both arguing the same point.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
NotArrogantJustRight,

First off, I am a "she" and not a "he." Second, the definition of decriminalization that I have provided is not one I thought of myself, but rather took from a source which I cited and quoted. Additionally, the quote about production being done in the black market is again cited and sourced [3]. As you have mentioned, my opponent didn't really address it and thus I didn't spend a lot of time talking about it. So what was your point again?
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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